One of the best underdog stories inside the Eagles' locker room during his five years with the team, former special teams captain Chris Maragos posted an emotional, heartfelt letter to fans Tuesday afternoon on Twitter announcing his retirement from the NFL.
Signed by the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in 2014, Maragos cemented his status as one of the league's preeminent special teams players with a team-best 49 tackles during his tenure. In 2014, Maragos led the squad with 14 special teams tackles, forced a fumble, blocked a punt, and scored his first NFL touchdown. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate for his play that season. The Eagles ranked first in the league in special teams play twice in Maragos' first three seasons in Philadelphia, including that 2014 campaign.
"To all the fans that supported me, especially Eagles fans, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I've tried to put on display every single snap how I think each and every one of you would play the game if you were able to," Maragos wrote.
"I hope I've made you proud by the intensity and passion that I played with, by leaving it all on the field every single time I stepped between the lines."
Maragos earned the respect of his teammates as he was named a captain in 2017, the first year the team assigned permanent captains. Maragos suffered a knee injury in the Week 6 win over Carolina, and it kept him sidelined for the run to the Super Bowl as well as all of 2018.
"Unfortunately, my career will be cut short and I'll no longer be able to play due to a knee injury, surgeries, and the rehabilitation from it," Maragos wrote. "When I think back to all the amazing times playing football, I'm deeply grateful for the relationships and moments that I've experienced with so many great people."
A two-time walk-on in college at both Western Michigan and Wisconsin, Maragos originally entered the league as a rookie free agent with the 49ers in 2010. He went to the division-rival Seahawks in 2011 and was a key special teams contributor in their Super Bowl-winning campaign of 2013.